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Favourite sledging spots

Sam Bertram

31 January 2019

Snow is here & a while ago we asked around for people’s favourite sledging spots.  Here’s the feedback.....   1. Cherhill Monument near Calne – watch out it can be very fast in places!  You can also see one of Wiltshire’s White Horses while you’re there.   2. Bradford on Avon golf course has been frequented by some mini thrill seekers.   3. The hill above Alton Barnes on the Pewsey Downs is not for the faint hearted. Hold on to your sledges.   4. Head to Heaven’s Gate at the top of Prospect Hill and enjoy the views across the parkland of Longleat and Longleat House before you jump on.   5. Closer to Swindon? Try Coate Water Park, Liddington Hill or the Lawns Woods in Old Town.   6. If you’re in Chippenham head to Monkton Park.   7. Locals love Treacle Bolley in Marlborough or try corner field off the London Road.   8. If you live near Salisbury Plain Widdington Motorcross field at Widdington Farm near Upavon gives a good ride.   9. Take in history while you sledge at Avebury.  Going between the stones can be terrifying but it’s easy to stop at the bottom of the hill.   10. In Malmesbury the place to go is The Worthies - near the entrance to Reeds Farm, opposite the Co-op and below the cricket club and another great spot opposite Willis Brothers at Cowbridge (on the B4042).   11. Bratton Alps is popular amongst locals. Go up Stradbrook into Imber Road for fantastic sledging.   12. TAKE NOTE: No sledging trip is complete without a cup of hot chocolate waiting at home at the end & be careful!   Got some more suggestions? We really want to hear about good sledging spots nearer Salisbury, Westbury & Tisbury area. Email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in.  

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Christmas recipes with a twist

Sam Bertram

6 November 2018

We spoke to The Wiltshire Liqueur Company’s Tiffinie Pride about her favourite recipes & cocktails using her liqueurs, and why we should be stocking up for Christmas. Why should we be buying your liqueurs? ‘They are incredibly versatile – they are great on their own but also brilliant as a basis for cocktails and in cooking. We have lots of cocktail and recipe ideas on our website - they’re perfect to keep drinks and food interesting through the festive season. My favourite cocktail is one I conceived after a hard day’s slog in the office. It’s still my go to drink after a long day.  ‘Damson in Distress’ has Damson Vodka, Ginger Ale and Ice and if I’m feeling flush I add a mint leaf. My favourite recipe is a bit summery but it’s just so delicious I have to share. At a fair someone once told me they mix Blood Orange with Olive Oil and mustard to make a salad dressing. We’ve eaten it with fresh peas, mozzarella and Parma ham and it is so yummy.  Perfect for dinner parties as a light starter. Craft is a bar in Greenwich in London that stock our liqueurs. They make a delicious cocktail called SE10 made up of our Wild Strawberry, Gin, honey and black pepper. It is amazing!’ What should we be cooking up for Christmas? ‘Christmas cake soaked in Blood Orange rather than brandy is so good. People are starting to make their Christmas cakes at this time of year so if you’re looking to do something different this could be the answer. You just feed your cake with Blood Orange in the same way you would with brandy. We’ve also got a great Nigel Slater recipe on the website.  Pheasant and Sloe Gin – really good and perfect with the shooting season upon us, and lots of winter entertaining to be done. On Christmas day serve any of our liqueurs with Champagne.  We have a name for every combination – Sloepagne, Damshame, Bloodyfizz & Chamberry. And it doesn’t just have to be Christmas day it could be Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or indeed any time you’re drinking during the festive season! Another Christmassy treat is Sloe Gin or Blood Orange chocolate truffles. Really yummy and they make great homemade presents to thank someone for their hospitality or serve with coffee. I’m thinking of having a gift box at fairs which has some small liqueur bottles and truffles. So if you see me at any fairs please do ask about them and tell me what you think.  Everything else is available to buy online so you can get it anytime and even better the price includes postage and packaging. There’s no excuse for not getting creative in the kitchen this season!’ And Christmas Gifts? ‘All our full size bottles can be ordered online and have personalised labels at no extra cost. We’ve had some funny requests for labels. The one that sticks in my mind the most is ‘Kevin loves pink ponies’. I didn’t like to delve too deep about what that was about! Most people put a name and there are lots of puns on the word sloe ‘for your Sloe investment’ or ‘Drink it Sloe-ly’.  Our gift packs of smaller bottles are only available at fairs. We can be found at Marlborough Feast of Food, Beaufort Hunt, Highclere Castle and a couple of school Christmas fairs like Pinewood and St Francis in Pewsey. Check our website to see where else we’ll be. Our liqueurs are also extremely popular for corporate gifts. You could give every employee a bottle with their name on the label – we’ve done that in the past and it went down a storm. Or give them to clients with your company name on the label or a cracking phrase to show your creativity! http://www.wiltshireliqueur.com/  

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Summer Holiday fun for kids

Sam Bertram

6 July 2018

School’s out for some and not far off for others so time to start planning how to fill those long summer holidays. Here’s a roundup on what’s on in Wiltshire for kids this summer.   Theatre, Circus & the arts Kick off the summer with some open air theatre at Marlborough College Summer School on Tuesday 17th July.  Illyria presents The Adventures of Dr Doolittle (also at Lacock on 27th July). A funny, much-loved and exciting adventure, with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment.  If you miss that there’s more open theatre later in the summer. Peter Pan at Lydiard Park on Friday 24th August & Alice Adventures in Wonderland at Lacock on Thursday 30th August. Devizes International street festival on 26th and 27th August has lots of street acts to keep the kids entertained.  Head to the Ragroof Players workshop to learn Charleston, Tango, Hand Jive, Night Fever, Salsa, Gangnam or Floss or watch them do 100 years of dance crazes in 100 minutes. The fabulous Giffords Circus returns to Marlborough Common from 31st August to 10th September – a firm family favourite. Don’t miss getting tickets for David Walliams at the Marlborough Literature festival at end of September. Tickets will sell out fast for this one.   Keen cooks in the family? The Farm Cookery School in Bromham is absolutely fabulous and they’ve got courses for kids throughout the summer. If you’re children are keen bakers why not get in touch with The Baking Chambers to see what bread and pizza making courses they’ve got planned?   Summer School Keep the kids entertained at Marlborough College Summer School, there’s something for everyone– on for the next four weeks until 3rd August. There are still some spaces so not too late to book.   Explore some of our national treasures As always both National Trust and English Heritage have plenty of fun for the family. Visit the magnificent Stourhead and, from 26th July, pick up a game pack so you and your family can play this life size version of a classic board game to 'get rich quick' around the house and garden. Families will have to get silly to earn the money to buy their favourite parts of Stourhead. Find out what medicines the abbey nuns grew 800 years ago on Healing Herbs Family Trail at Lacock until 2nd September. The ever popular Joust! Tournament & Melee returns to Old Sarum on Sunday 26th to Monday 27th August. Avebury has lots of fun planned for the summer with trails and spotter sheets, archaeology afternoons where kids can take part in a mini dig and a West Kennet Long Barrow burial or curate their own miniature museum.  For sporty types they’re holding Sports Day weekends throughout August or pop in for one of their Children’s yoga sessions. The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has lots of fun with Prehistoric sea monsters on Wednesday 8th August, Snakes and the Rainforest on Wednesday 15th August, Tudor crafts on Wednesday 22nd August and Pirates and the Sea on Wednesday 29th August.   Outdoor Fun Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has scavenger hunts at Widbrook Wood, Bradford on Avon on 8th August and Lower Moor Farm, Oaksey on 9th August. There’s also lots of fun by the lake at Lower Moor Farm for the w/c 20th August. The adventure playground at Bowood House is a firm family favourite or head to Wilton House for their equally good playground & paddle in the river when the heat gets too much. Westbury has some Inflatable fun dayz on 21st and 22nd July. There’s a picnic in the park and a free family fun day in Victoria Park Salisbury on Wednesday 29th August & family fun days at Lydiard Park on 14th and 15th July.  If your kids are animal lovers there’s also the Dog Bark Show on 5th August.   Fairs & Festivals For a lovely family friendly festival head to Festival on the Farm in Purton from 3rd to 5th August or Figgle Fest – a free day of family fun held in Fighledean on 7th July. For some classic countryside - stunt shows and sheepdog displays pop in to The Wessex Country Fair on Sunday 5th August. Little kids will be over the moon to visit Tractor Ted digger & dumpers weekend at Bowood on 17th and 18th August.

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Music Festival Round up

Sam Bertram

5 May 2018

A music festival is the perfect excuse to listen to great music, camp out, dress up and dance like no-one is watching. We’ve put together a list of Wiltshire’s best in 2018.   Manton Fest – Saturday 30th June – Marlborough A small one-day charity fundraising music festival held annually in the village of Manton in beautiful surroundings. Perfect if looking for a fun afternoon and evening out with the family. A taste of the line-up: Katrina of the waves, John Coghlan’s quo, Whole Lotta Led, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Barrelhouse, Empty Gestures, Skedaddle & more. Child friendly and under 7s go free.   Once upon a time in the west – 13th to 15th July – nr Trowbridge and Westbury An extremely friendly small festival with fun features like ‘Universally Challenge – The Gameshow’. 2018 has a medieval dress theme and the Djin Palace returns for late night dj'ing and gin and cocktails. It’s a great space for kids with a climbing wall for all ages, cardboard creations and trapeze skills. New for 2018 is a quiet area for camping for families.  A taste of the line-up: The Showhawk Duo, The Swinghoppers, Swing, Funky house, Electro Beats and Phat Sam.   Boondocks Festival Friday 20th and Saturday 21st July – Malmesbury A chilled, family friendly event offering music, food, local beers and ciders. Camping & day passes available. 2 outdoor stages and a small fairground and outdoor skate park. A taste of the Line-up: Confirmed acts include Imperial Leisure, 3 Daft Monkeys, Jeramiah Ferrari, Normanton Street, Wasabi, The Drystones, Will Lawton and Weasel Howlett, Circus VIII, Felix Hagan and The Family, Caro, and more. There's many more still to be announced.   Larmer Tree festival- Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July – Tollard Royal Known for its fabulous location and range of things to do with its outdoor theatre and international street eats. They’ve also been awarded the UK Festival Awards for ‘Best Family Festival’ and ‘Best Toilets’ by festival goers for the coolest, cleanest loos! This year they’re introducing their new 'Larmer Spa in the wilds' nestled deep in the woods complete with wood fired hot tub, therapists and gong bathing! Camping & Glamping. A taste of the Line-up: Tune Yards, Nick Mulvey, Sonhoy Blues, Nadine Shah, The Barr Brothers, Hudson Taylor & more.   WOMAD – 26th to 29th July – Malmesbury A global fiesta of music, food, dance & art. Visit The World of Art, World of Children, World of Words, The Physics Pavilion, Taste the World or escape from festival craziness in the World of Wellbeing. Take a workshop – try anything from African drumming to acapella singing, from Beatboxing to Brazilian dance. There’s also a WOMAD spa. Camping & Glamping. A taste of the Line-up: Amadou & Mariam, Mr Jukes, The Original Gypsies of Camargue, Amparanoia, Camille, Django, Daara J Family.    Avebury Rocks Music Festival – Friday 27th to Sunday 29th July See performers in a field near to the famous standing stones of Avebury – all proceeds go towards supporting the care and services provided by local charity Prospect Hospice. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the Line-up: Chloe Mogg, Lottie Jenkins and Burbank, Natalie Shay, Ministry of Samba and more.   Fieldview festival – 2nd to 5th August – Little Sommerford A reputation as being Wiltshire’s biggest little festival raising money for good causes since 2009. 2017 saw the introduction of their beautiful new woodland chill out area. Camping & Glamping. Line up still to be announced.   Festival on the farm, Purton – Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August A small festival on an organic family farm. So while you can drink from the licensed bar you can counteract your alcohol intake with some lovely organic produce!  Children are welcome and under 10s go free. Paintball, face painters, Bouncy Castle, Rodeo Ride. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the line-up: Binomial, The Go Go Five, Vice Versa, Penfold and Hooch, The Blind Lemon Blues band and more. A review: Superb little festival with amazing talents and friendly people...good vibes all round.   Cock & Bull Festival, Jamie’s Farm – Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August - Corsham A festival for mind, body and soul – an intimate event with a social purpose at the heart of the party. Special in the fact it's run by and for local charity Jamie's Farm.  Mediation, yoga, Thai chi, farmer Olympics & community feasting (all food sourced from Jamie’s Farm) at the food barn. Dedicated kid’s space with lots of activities. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the Line Up: Brooke Sharkey, Double Bass Dan, The Embers Collection, Don’t tell your mother, Nkomba and more.   End of the road – 30th August to 2nd September – Larmer Tree Gardens Best medium sized festival – UK festival Awards 2017.  Music, comedy & Literature. A taste of the Line-up: Vampire Weekend, St Vincent, Feist, Yo La Tengo, Ezra Furman, Jeff Tweedy, John Cale & More.   Minety Festival – 29th June to 1st July In its 2nd year it was shortlisted for the UK Festival Awards in the Best New Festival Category. Raising money for raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Combat Stress and Naomi House & Jacksplace Hospice. A taste of the Line-up: Chesney Hawkes, The Dirty Smooth, The Hallows, Tom Forbes, The Shadow Monkeys. Kid zone with free caving, Slacklining, bouncy castle, circus skills, inflatable slide & assault course.    

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